With an unmistakable hit-and-run flow that would sound at home on the Crescent City blocks alongside the Hot Boys, Ran Rover unleashes a local aesthetic free of booty bass, bikinis, and palm trees. Indeed with eighteen tracks, Ride Wit’ Ya Boy is a legitimately fat showcase for the 23-year-old Carol City native, and his “Game in Me” and “Run Wit Us” pop and slice with the natural charisma of a talented J-Kwon. But then there are the beats. The latter has a novice Playskool spin on the old Ludacris/Neptunes jernt “Southern Hospitality.” Meanwhile “Oooh” swipes Mr. Cheeks’s “Lights, Camera, Action!” and mixes it beneath the title chorus.
Incidentally, part of the appeal of Ride Wit’ Ya Boy resides in hearing Ran Rover effortlessly weather such varied and occasionally bizarre tracks, then shine over the somber bounce of “Concrete Jungle” and the dark ghetto pop of “Ran Rover (Hotter Than a Flame).” It’s an entertaining and thorough introduction, especially for the Miami hip-hop scene. With a few heavyweight producers by his side, one can foresee 106 & Park in his future. — Hunter Stephenson